A team from UCLA was selected for ACM SIGSOFT Research Highlights for their work: “QDiff: Differential Testing of Quantum Software Stacks.” This project was a collaborative effort between Professor Miryung Kim’s group and Professor Harry Xu, and it was done when Qian Zhang (now an assistant professor at UC Riverside) worked as Miryung’s post doc. In comparison to traditional compilers and architecture simulators, quantum software stacks (QSSes) are difficult to test due to the probabilistic nature of results, the lack of clear hardware specifications, and quantum programming complexity. Motivated by the need to automatically test QSSes, the UCLA team developed a novel differential testing approach QDiff. QDiff found crashes and potential instabilities in Qiskit from IBM, Cirq from Google, and Pyquil from Rigetti. Fourth year PhD student Jiyuan Wang led the project. Alan Ho from Google’s quantum computing group mentored Jiyuan and provided valuable suggestions for the project.
SIGSOFT Research Highlights select recent, significant, and exciting results that are of general interest to the computer science community from ACM SIGSOFT sponsored conferences. SIGSOFT also recommends these results/papers for consideration for the Research Highlights section of the Communications of the ACM. Their ASE 2021 paper is the only paper selected from year 2021 from the latest ACM SIGSOFT Research Highlight.